I HATE skinny jumps...help?
 
 

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I HATE skinny jumps...help?

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  • How to make my pony jump skinny jumps
  • Jumping skinny

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    10-29-2011, 10:52 AM
  #1
Weanling
I HATE skinny jumps...help?

Ugh. Skinny jumps are officially the bane of my existence.

I've been riding Bling for my lessons for the past month or so and it is going amazing. I switched to smaller spurs and he's also getting turned out with the big guys so he's not as wound up anymore. I've finally figured out how to ride him effectively to the jumps and we're FINALLY getting distances (hah, it was interesting there for a while). We actually jumped our first full 3' course last night I found out that Bling likes to pick up speed on longer courses so I had a lot of fun trying to keep him from motorcycling around the corners...but it was awesome to do 3' with him after riding horses who struggled to do even just 2' for so long.

The only problem I have is with skinny jumps. I don't know WHY, but I just have this terrible mental block when it comes to them. I freak myself out that we're going to have a refusal and as a result, don't ride him hard enough to actually get over the jump (especially since Bling is VERY wiggly on the way to jumps and needs to be guided all the way).

It's so stupid, and I know it's a ridiculous thing to be unable to do, y'know? I don't know why I'm so scared of skinny jumps - it's not like I'm AFRAID of a refusal 'cause I know I can sit it out without a problem.

My trainer knows how much I detest them and she always works it into the course, haha. Thankfully, she keeps it lower than the other jumps. I can barely manage it at 2'6" - I can only imagine what would happen if she raised it to 3' like the others.

Ugh. Any tips for getting over a mental block like this?
     
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    10-29-2011, 12:14 PM
  #2
Trained
Skinny Jumps are just like all other jumps - 2 standards, some poles going across, and you jump it. Just look at it that way. That might help.

The only difference is, of course, they are skinnier. Lol.

When you are approaching a skinny, you want to envision a tunnel. Imagine this tunnel is wrapped around that fence, and you want to make it out the other end. You don't want your horse to go anywhere, but strait down the middle of that tunnel.

On approach, I sit deep, wrap my legs around my horse, sit up tall, open my chest and I look absolutely NO WHERE else, but my landing point *the end of the tunnel*.

You have to make sure you close all your doors. Do not fault your horse through your form. The moment you look down, look at the fence, allow any of your aids to faulter, you wont make it.

You are faulting yourself, by looking at the fence, by thinking negatively - and in turn, your horse is feeding off of you and reflecting what you are doing. Remember, our horses are mirrors, they reflect 100% of what we do in the saddle.

~~~

I also wanted to ask, what shape is this horse your are now riding? He may go faster, because he physically needs to. I am only assuming though, without seeing him move and seeing how he is built.

I say this, because of my horse. Yes, he is 16.3hh and he is thick like a warmblood X, but he is short strided. He needs more forward momentum and more impulsion to get over a 3'0"-3'3" course than in compareson to my friends TB Gelding.

His TB is more "longer" in body. He's 15.2hh, but he's longer than Nelson, with a bigger stride, so they can go thorugh a jumper course, slower than Nelson and I can.

Just an example of what I am trying to convey.
     
    10-29-2011, 01:26 PM
  #3
Weanling
:p I feel like the normal width of jumps kind of acts as my safety net - if we come in crooked or off center, there's still a jump in front of us, but if it's a skinny then I feel like we're just going to miss it, haha. It's dumb, I know.

I tend to get too tough with my hands on the way to the skinny, and that's what lets Bling stop. I know I'm doing it and I know I shouldn't be doing it, but it is SO hard for me to let go of that "control" (which I know it's not but it feels like it is). Welp. I've been doing a lot of riding and transitions on the quarter line when flatting with him to help figure out how to keep him straight between my legs without the help of the wall, so I feel like I just need to put that into practice on the way to skinny jumps? I AM getting better at it - we used to be going diagonally down the long side and now we're almost straight, haha.

Here's a video of my trainer on Bling (it's from right after he came to the barn; he's doing much better now and jumped his first 4' a couple weeks ago I believe)
(he pops his butt up when he jumps...I thought I was going to come off the first time we took a long spot hahahaa)

I know that his canter is deceiving and feels a lot faster than it actually is, lol. It feels like we're FLYING on the flat and we're only going a little faster than the ponies, haha. He was picking up speed during the course partially 'cause he was getting excited and wound up (he was also putting his head down and trying to run through my hands). But yeah...his canter feels faster than it looks.

He's a 16.3 Hanovarian, haha. I do think his canter stride is shorter than other horses of his size that I've ridden.
     
    10-30-2011, 10:42 PM
  #4
Yearling
I had someone tell me once, "Just make sure both ears are between the standards and kick."


Obviously, it's not that simple, but part of your problem might just be that you're over analyzing it. Break it down into simple steps. "Relax, forward, balanced, straight, jump." Don't nit pick every stride and just let the jump come to you.
     
    10-30-2011, 10:56 PM
  #5
Super Moderator
Here's how I introduce horses and riders to skinnys.

I take a pair of standards and, instead of using a jump cup, I use a huge spike in the cup pin hole. It sticks out so far that I can balance the end of the pole on it.

I place the standards at a normal width with the poles being held by the spikes. As the horse becomes relaxed with the jump, I move the standards a bit narrower. The poles are still long, but the jumpable part of the jump is narrow. I keep moving the standards in until both horse and rider become comfortable with a narrow jumping area. Then, I will substitute shorter poles in and do it again. Eventually, I will have horse and rider jumping four foot poles.

Just make sure your toes don't stick out when you jump!! It is never fun to hook a foot on a standard.

I don't use wing standards because I want the horses to be willing to jump fairly open and uninviting jumps.

This is a jump I used at my last clinic;

     
    10-31-2011, 12:48 AM
  #6
Trained
Since you know you have trouble with your hands on approach why not go into your 2 point a little earlier and grab mane until you get more comfortable? A 2'6" to 3' jump doesn't need a big release like a Puisance wall. By getting set early and grabbing mane, you take away your ability to punish him to a stop with your hands.

MY big OMG NO NO NO jumps were the half rounds......no idea why! I finally learned to love 'em after jumping enough of 'em. Never a problem with a water jump, brick wall, 1/4 round, coop, oxer, you name it but throw a 1/2 round in there and I absolutely spazzed.
     
    10-31-2011, 01:12 AM
  #7
Weanling
Ugh skinnies are so evil. Whenever I see one set up in the ring I find myself glaring at it out of the corner of my eyes the whole time. I feel like what I do is just take a deep breath and hold it till I'm through. Then after I'm through I realize there was nothing to be scared of, atleast until I come at it again :P
     
    10-31-2011, 03:14 PM
  #8
Weanling
Quote:
Originally Posted by Strange    
I had someone tell me once, "Just make sure both ears are between the standards and kick."


Obviously, it's not that simple, but part of your problem might just be that you're over analyzing it. Break it down into simple steps. "Relax, forward, balanced, straight, jump." Don't nit pick every stride and just let the jump come to you.
that's very wise advice, haha. I know that I do over analyze a lot of things in my life, and I'm sure that skinny jumps are one of them. I'm just having problem NOT overthinking it, y'know?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Dreamcatcher Arabians    
Since you know you have trouble with your hands on approach why not go into your 2 point a little earlier and grab mane until you get more comfortable? A 2'6" to 3' jump doesn't need a big release like a Puisance wall. By getting set early and grabbing mane, you take away your ability to punish him to a stop with your hands.

MY big OMG NO NO NO jumps were the half rounds......no idea why! I finally learned to love 'em after jumping enough of 'em. Never a problem with a water jump, brick wall, 1/4 round, coop, oxer, you name it but throw a 1/2 round in there and I absolutely spazzed.
Wouldn't I then lose my ability to guide Bling to the jump? Yes, he's a total sweeheart and super honest, but he's still quite green and needs a lot of guidance. He hasn't yet figured out how to do it all on his own and gets quite wobbly on the way to jumps.

Quote:
Originally Posted by kathryn    
Ugh skinnies are so evil. Whenever I see one set up in the ring I find myself glaring at it out of the corner of my eyes the whole time. I feel like what I do is just take a deep breath and hold it till I'm through. Then after I'm through I realize there was nothing to be scared of, atleast until I come at it again :P
ugh, I know right? My trainer ALWAYS puts a skinny in the course and it's usually one of the first jumps and it's just...terrible. I seriously stare that thing down, lmfao.

The last time we rode she had me doing a roll back through the center of the arena to the skinny jump, and I think it actually helped. By the time we were facing the jump head on, there were only 3 or so strides to go so I had less time to freak out about getting a bad distance or swerving off course...welp.
     
    11-01-2011, 11:27 AM
  #9
Green Broke
Widen your hands. It'll give the horse more of a feel of where you want him to go and it will give you an idea of how to keep him centered.
     
    11-01-2011, 11:51 AM
  #10
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by juniormylove    

Wouldn't I then lose my ability to guide Bling to the jump? Yes, he's a total sweeheart and super honest, but he's still quite green and needs a lot of guidance. He hasn't yet figured out how to do it all on his own and gets quite wobbly on the way to jumps.

The last time we rode she had me doing a roll back through the center of the arena to the skinny jump, and I think it actually helped. By the time we were facing the jump head on, there were only 3 or so strides to go so I had less time to freak out about getting a bad distance or swerving off course...welp.

Ok, 2 different approaches to the problem. 1) If you want to grab mane, then have your trainer set 2 side rails on the jump to keep him straight to it and once you enter those you grab mane. That would alleviate steering issues. When I talk about 2 point early, I'm talking 4 or 5 strides before the jump. Then when your about 2 strides before the jump and just close your fingers on the mane. I'm guessing for that low a jump you're not doing a big crest release, right?

2)Or if you don't want to grab mane a few times, then have your trainer set up 3 or 4 of the narrow jumps and have you jump them over and over and over until the 'normal' jumps look ridiculously wide.

Either way, repetition and practice is what will get you past the OMG OMG OMG stage, LOL!
     

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